Thank you

Mayor Frank thanks state officials for improving wildfire response

From left, Karen Ooten, Anderson County Emergency Management Agency; Andrew Farmer, forestry aide; Darren Bailey, district forester; Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank; Phillip Brewer, forestry aide; David Arnold, state forester; Bruce Miller, forestry technician; and Nathan Sweet, director of Anderson County Emergency Medical Services, recently got a first-hand look at some new wildfire-fighting equipment that’s now stationed in Anderson County. (photo:Anderson County Government )
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank recently contacted state forestry officials to meet regarding new firefighting equipment now stationed in Anderson County.

Frank and Emergency Management’s Karen Ooten and Brice Kidwell, and EMS Director Nathan Sweet recently got a firsthand look at the new 104-horsepower John Deere 650k dozer and International transport.

Warm and dry weather patterns can contribute to greater risks for wildfires in Anderson County and throughout the country. Now, if wildfires spark in our area, the forestry work center in Anderson County has some new equipment to make the firefighting job a little easier and safer.

“I am so very thankful to Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly for funding a new state-of-the-art dozer and transport that will be stationed in the forestry work center here in Anderson County,” Frank said.

During the recent on-site visit at the Clinton’s Fire Station 1, 100 Longmire Road, State Forester David Arnold briefed the local officials about the new equipment, and Division of Forestry training and firefighting response.

“The Tennessee Division of Forestry is proud to be the leader in wildland fire management in the state,” Arnold said. “We strive to respond swiftly and diligently to protect life and property from wildfire, work with communities to prepare in advance of catastrophe, and use fire as a tool to achieve management objectives. The new state-of-the-art firefighting equipment now in Anderson County will help us meet those goals.”

Frank thanked the Division of Forestry team and noted how important that proper equipment and machinery are to protecting life.

“As impressed and amazed as I am by the quality and capability of the machinery, I am even more impressed by the courage of the firefighters who operate it in the service of protecting our community and protecting life,” she said.

The new dozer and transport will replace aging equipment that has been used for at least 16 years.

In 2005, the General Assembly established a reserve fund to replace the Division of Forestry’s aging fleet. Beginning in 2020 through 2024, the Division expects to replace 112 bulldozers throughout the state

The new John Deere 650k is considered the most state-of-the-art Type 3 firefighting dozer in the United States, with a tracking system, high-efficiency HEPA filters, and superior operator safety. The International HV Series transport includes an extended cab and new style suspension, and is Tier 4 compliant for air-pollution laws.

Wildfires are suppressed by disrupting the combustion process. These dozers allow Division of Forestry firefighters to remove the fuel safely by creating a fire line around the blaze where vegetation is removed down to soil.